Saturday, August 27, 2011
Government Facility Closures

Due to forecasted inclement weather from Hurricane Irene, the following Charles County Government facilities will adjust operating hours as follows:

• Charles County Landfill and Recycling Centers – closing at 2 p.m. today; closed all day on Sunday, August 28
• White Plains Golf Course – closing at 2 p.m. today; closed all day on Sunday, August 28
• Capital Clubhouse – closing today at 1 p.m.; will re-open on Sunday, August 28, at 11:30 a.m.
• Charles County Parks – closing at 2 p.m. today; closed all day on Sunday, August 28
• Tri-County Animal Shelter – closing to the public at 2 p.m. today (staff will remain to care for animals housed at the shelter); closed all day on Sunday, August 28
• Crain Memorial Welcome Center – open today for normal operating hours (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.); closed all day on Sunday, August 28

Click here to view the notification on the Charles County CNS website

Sammy 09:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland emergency housing website available
Daily Record

In advance of Hurricane Irene and what may turn into a need for emergency housing, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is encouraging property owners around the state to list their available rental units on www.mdhousingsearch.org, a bilingual housing locator website and call center to match property owners and prospective renters.

The website allows renters to quickly locate appropriate properties for their needs, reducing casual inquiries and saving property owners time and money. In the event of a disaster, the site will be widely promoted, and state and local agencies will use the service to find housing for displaced families.

Sammy 08:56 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Medicaid managed care is a growing but risky business
Christopher Weaver ― Washington Post

Sanjuanita Espinoza, 55, doesn’t seem like a gold mine for private insurers. She’s disabled, has high blood pressure and has no family to help with her care.

Yet, to some Texas insurers, she is an opportunity. In August, the state picked five health plans in South Texas to oversee care for people such as Espinoza who are enrolled in Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor. This scenario is playing out across the country as states increasingly turn to private insurers to rein in the cost of Medicaid.

But Medicaid managed care is a risky business. Many new enrollees are older and sicker than the people health plans typically cover. The political environment is fierce, and insurers face resistance from physicians, hospitals and perhaps.

Sammy 08:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In helping Afghanistan build up its…
Joshua Partlow ― Washington Post

...security forces, U.S. is trimming the frills

The commander of NATO’s elaborate and expensive effort to build the Afghan security forces, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, was standing inside the bathroom of a police training school in this obscure eastern town, looking at the sinks. He did not like what he saw.

“Every time I walk into someplace and see a porcelain sink, I cringe,” he said.

That’s because Caldwell is tasked with making the Afghan army and police capable of holding off the Taliban — but in a way the United States can afford. Growing political concern in the United States over the high cost of the American mission has made for a blunt new imperative: The Afghan security forces, which cost the United States $11.6 billion this year, need to get cheaper — fast.

Sammy 08:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Banks seeking relief from regulators as deposits swell
Bradley Keoun, Dakin Campbell and Dawn Kopecki ― Washington Post

Federal regulators have asked some banks to take more deposits from large investors even if it’s unprofitable, and lenders in return are seeking relief on insurance premiums and leverage ratios, according to six people with knowledge of the talks.

Deposits are flooding into the biggest U.S. banks as customers seek shelter from Europe’s debt crisis and falling stock prices. That forces lenders to raise capital for a growing balance sheet and saddles them with the higher deposit insurance payments. With short-term interest rates so low, it’s hard for financial firms to reinvest the new money profitability.

Sammy 08:25 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans
Mary Beth Sheridan ― Washington Post

For years, national security experts have warned that Mexico’s drug violence could send a wave of refugees fleeing to the United States. Now, the refugees are arriving — and they are driving BMWs and snapping up half-million-dollar homes.

Tens of thousands of well-off Mexicans have moved north of the border in a quiet exodus over the past few years, according to local officials, border experts and demographers. Unlike the much larger population of illegal immigrants, they are being warmly welcomed.

Sammy 07:59 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Reminder:  Charles County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Meeting

The next meeting of the Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee (HMPC) will be held on September 1, 2011, at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus in Room ST 140 from 9:30 am.  Directly following the HMPC there will be a public meeting to discuss the draft.  The public portion of the meeting will be from 11 am until noon.

Charles County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Project Website

Related Thread:  Hazard Mitigation Plan Meeting

Sammy 07:48 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Facebook:  Charles County Government

Residents should be advised that MTA wind restriction policy is that 30-39 mph winds will result in a wind warning for all motorists traveling the Nice Bridge. At 39-49 mph, access to campers and large vehicles. At 55mph or greater, all traffic will be restricted from crossing the bridge.

Sammy 07:01 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Emergency Shelter Open for Residents

An emergency shelter opened at 6 a.m. today at Milton Somers Middle School (300 Willow Lane, La Plata). Any citizens and their pets (cats and dogs only) in need of shelter during the storm may report to the emergency shelter during the weather event. If possible, bring pets in a pet carrier. Residents should bring warm clothing and blankets, flashlights, radio, personal documents and identification, and necessary emergency supplies including special food and medicine.

Due to the forecasted impact of Hurricane Irene on Charles County, Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly issued a proclamation of order to evacuate. The order advises citizens living near low lying waterways (Port Tobacco, Marshall Hall, Cobb Island, and Benedict areas) and in mobile homes throughout the county to evacuate their homes and relocate to areas further inland. If possible, residents are encouraged to stay with friends or family members, and remain there until it is safe to return home.

Read more...

Sammy 06:52 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hurricane Consumer Warning: Be Wary of Hurricane-Related Fraud
Southern Maryland Online

If you face major repairs to your home, business or other property as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irene, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler urges you to be wary of home repair scams and other consumer fraud that often follow the storm’s destructive path.

“Con artists may try to take advantage of you at your most vulnerable moment,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Be wary of those door-to-door salesmen who follow disasters from state to state seeking to steal your hard-earned money. That could be money you’ll never see again for work they’ll never do.”

Sammy 05:19 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bernanke urges Obama, Congress to strengthen recovery
Don Lee ― Los Angeles Times

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, insisting that the long-term U.S. economic prospects remain good, took aim at Washington policymakers for causing upheaval in financial markets and failing to do their part in bolstering the flagging recovery.

Bernanke did not rule out new action by the central bank to stimulate growth, but he emphasized in a much-anticipated speech Friday that the Fed could do only so much by regulating interest rates and other monetary policy.

He practically goaded the White House and Congress to do more to create jobs and strengthen the economy using fiscal policy, which would include both tax cuts and federal spending.

Sammy 05:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Earthquake unlikely to shake up building standards
margie hyslop ― Gazette

Although engineering experts and officials across the state continue to evaluate damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that gave Maryland its greatest shake in more than a century, they say few, if any, changes in building standards likely are warranted.

Most reported damage has been superficial rather than structural, state and local officials said.
[...]
Even though California residents weather temblors like Tuesday’s regularly, the older, colder, harder bedrock in Eastern states carries the shaking farther from the quake’s epicenter, Zhang said.

That means that an earthquake on the East Coast can cause damage across a wider area than on the West Coast, where more numerous bedrock fractures also limit how far the shaking travels.

Sammy 05:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
State emergency management agency having a hectic week
Margie Hyslop ― Gazette

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night ...”

It’s part of the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto, but the Maryland Emergency Management Agency might want to borrow it.

In a week that early on saw the earth shake and that threatens to end with torrential rain, winds and flooding, the state’s emergency personnel were kept busy, to say the least.

Sammy 04:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Pew: Half of US adults now use social networks
Frederick News-Post

Half of all American adults are now on social networks, slightly more than a year ago, and use among Baby Boomers is growing, according to a new study.

A report released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that, of the U.S. adults who use the Internet, nearly two-thirds use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Sammy 04:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Mining and police work most dangerous U.S. jobs
Molly O'Toole ― Baltimore Sun

Disasters at a U.S. coal mine and aboard an oil rig operated by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico again made mining one of the most dangerous jobs in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In private mining, fatal work injuries rose 74 percent to 172 in 2010 from 99 a year earlier, the agency’s figures showed.
[...]
The police profession was not far behind mining as a dangerous occupation, with the number of fatalities increasing by 40 percent to 134 last year from 96 in 2009.

Sammy 04:34 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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